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Mayo Responds to Criticism Over ‘Prioritize’ Remark

Mayo Clinic photo
Mayo Clinic photo

Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) –  The Mayo Clinic continues to respond to criticism stemming from a recent internal address to Mayo employees by the CEO of the world famous medical institution.

Earlier this week, the Star Tribune published a report based on the transcript of an address by Dr. John Noseworthy to Mayo employees in which he directed them to prioritize patients with private health insurance over those enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare and other public health programs in cases where multiple patients presenting with matching conditions and circumstances.

Friday afternoon, the Associated Press ran a story indicating state regulators were reviewing contracts with Mayo to determine if the health care provider is adhering to requirements concerning the care afforded to Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.

A statement released Friday by the Mayo Clinic stressed that Minnesota Medicaid patients have always and will continue to have the same access as those with commercial policies. Dr. Noseworthy also stated that a patient’s medical need will always be the primary factor in setting an appointment. He also addressed his use of the word “prioritize” in the internal discussion.

“I regret this has caused concerns that Mayo Clinic will not serve patients with government insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, about half of the total services we provide are for patients who have government insurance, and we’re committed to serving those patients.”

Dr. Noseworthy went on to say the aging of Americans, changing demographics and budgetary pressures pose challenges to the sustainability of our healthcare systems. He described the discussions as uncomfortable, but critical in meeting the needs of all patients.

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